Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Good Luck Plant
Ti plant, Cordyline fruticosa, always makes me think of the Barbie doll that has a huge ponytail with a neon pink shock of hair. Also known as good luck plant, it has wide leaves arranged in a muscular column colored with green, cream, red, and that screaming pink. Some leaves are striped, others edged with contrasting hues, and each is a singularly beautiful painting in itself. Grown in beds, mixed pots, or as a solo plant in a solid red pot, ti plant always makes a bold statement. Colors will be stronger in sunlight. Give plants rich organic soil and a watering regimen that allows the soil in the pot or bed to just dry out between waterings. Ti plants are easy to start from a gnarly cane that you sprout yourself and grow rapidly from small plants.

Tool or Gardening Product

Captain Jack Deadbug Brew
This product contains spinosad, the naturally occurring soil bacterium praised by many organic gardeners. Spinosad is used for control of caterpillars like tomato hornworm without undue residual impact on desirable insects in the area. It was widely used in the organic farming business for years before it became available to homeowners. I like the Captain particularly because there is a range of formulations to choose from, including ready to use, concentrate, and a nifty granular that makes very little dust. The Captain is a Bonide product and widely available.

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